Well it looks as though Mayor Bill de Blasio has finally gotten an affordable housing act through City Council - or at least according to the New York times article. And it appears to have something for everyone - and perhaps even some teeth as well, for a change. A major departure from the weak to no efforts on the part of his predecessors.
Kudos to him and the City Council for staying the course and working in behalf of all New Yorkers, not just the privileged few, or the avaricious and the greedy. It must feel strange to have a real Mayor who actually cares about his city - Prior to de Blasio that hadn't happened for more than 2 decades under the two previous incumbents - Giuliani and Bloomberg. In fact, it was the exact opposite.
Hope New Yorkers can get accustomed to the change, and appreciate it. Some people prefer abuse over respect; take kindness for weakness - others like to play dumb political rivalry games, instead of focusing on the greater good of the people of New York as a whole, whether they reside upstate or down, thus diminishing the growth and benefits across the board.
Below is a copy of the article that appeared in the March 22nd edition of the New York Times:
The New York City Council passed sweeping changes to the zoning code on Tuesday, compelling private developers to build low-cost rental units and handing Mayor Bill de Blasio a victory on the centerpiece of his efforts to blunt neighborhood gentrification.
The passage of the proposals capped more than two years of behind-the-scenes planning and organizing by the de Blasio administration, which developed a coalition of unions, business organizations, developers and groups representing older residents while wooing skeptical members of the Council.
In the end, the mayor’s plan, which changes zoning requirements across the city, survived opposition from community boards and building trades unions, as well as from New Yorkers concerned that the changes would encourage the very transformation of low-income areas they were meant to head off.
The vote was halted soon after it began, by a group of protesters on the balcony of the Council Chambers.
“City Council, vote no; M.I.H. has got to go,” they chanted, referring to one of the two proposals, known as mandatory inclusionary housing. As a few were guided out, others joined hands — possibly stuck together with Super Glue, Council officials said — and remained seated before being removed by police. At least two were carried away; the police said there were no arrests.
One man who was suffering from “back spasms,” according to Council officials, was taken to a nearby hospital.
The roughly 20-minute interruption did nothing to derail the voting. Each passed with at least 40 votes of the 51-member body.
In the days leading up to the vote, Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, took to the airwaves to frame the proposals as a robust attempt by city government to counter escalating rents that would leave a lasting, decades-long imprint on the city.
“Our plan mandates the creation of affordable housing,” Mr. de Blasio said on Monday. “It’s what is so powerful about it.” He is expected to hold a rally on Wednesday in Lower Manhattan.
Negotiations with the Council on the major points of the plan, which was made final last week, ensured the inclusion of units affordable to more lower-income residents — including those making 40 percent of the area median income or less — in new developments that benefit from zoning changes, a major concern in poor communities where the mayor’s plan is likely to spur development. The deal, which also includes neighborhood-specific changes to the zoning codes and the creation of housing for older adults, assured the plan’s passage on Tuesday.
City officials compared the adopted proposals to those in other cities, noting that New York’s plan went further by including mandatory creation of below-market rental units that are permanent and reach residents making well under the area median income of $86,300 for a family of four. The Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, called it a “landmark plan.”
Under New York’s plan, developers benefiting from rezonings for either residential growth or greater height and density are, for the first time, required to include units for those with earnings below the median income. The decision about what level of affordability to apply to a given development — between 40 percent and 80 percent of the median income — is to be determined by the local council member. The plan also provides for the creation of unitsfor those making 115 percent of the median income, provided a portion be for those earning much less. The set-asides range from 20 percent to 30 percent of all of the new units.
Though the ultimate effect on the city will most likely not be seen for years, the de Blasio administration has already identified seven areas planned for rezonings that would fall under the new rules, including East New York, Brooklyn; Bay Street on Staten Island; parts of Flushing and Long Island City in Queens; Jerome Avenue in the Bronx; and East Harlem and Inwood in Manhattan.
It may be hampered by a lack of a property tax abatement, known as 421-a, that lapsed this year and can be replaced only by the State Legislature. Mr. de Blasio’s broader housing plan, aimed at creating 80,000 new rental units below the market rate, was conceived based on the existence of the exemption. Roughly 12,000 units are expected to directly come from the new zoning mandates approved by the Council through 2024, City Hall officials have said.
“While in the absence of an overall tax abatement program its effectiveness is diminished, it’s still a valuable tool in the belt of the mayor,” John Banks, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, said.
Now that you know, what are you going to do about it? Make sure you contact your city council representative and become involved in the process in your district. Don't continue to mumble and grumble about what's not happening; get up, get out, get involved!!!
Stay Blessed &